Thursday, 10 September 2015

New Clearance For Rapid Reward

It's about time that Chicago indie-slack rockers Clearance have a full-length on the way! Content to whip out fried Pavement homages in short-form and with regularity for some years, I was starting to think the four-piece were adverse to tacking an album together. But we have it in the rather poignantly named Rapid Rewards (coming out at the end of the month through Tall Pat Records and Unsatisfied Records - pre-order here). The band seem world worn and a little beaten down - but also are pretty nonplussed and droll about it all. Hence new single 'Nonplussed' I guess. It's a blast of a track, openly spiteful towards the toppers and braggers of the world ("Everybody knows the books you've read"), while still unafraid of throwing the guitar around a bit too. 'You've Been Pre-Approved' keeps a mid-tempo bolt on, jumping into the Delorean to spin the wheels in the mid-90s, but it's the blase attitude that really transplants Clearance in that heady past, and more fittingly than a lot of bands enamoured with that period (and as you can guess, I am also one of those bound to the glories of 90s guitar rock). 'Total Closeout' gives another side, a more jam-focused ramble that is just as if not more infectious than the bite-size hooks we have heard before. It is hard not to hear Malkmus here, not just in Mike Bellis' ghosted vocal delivery, but in the devilish and offhand yet almost effortlessly ebullient way around a riff, a bridge, a breakdown. I've been keen on Clearance for a while - now I have a crush.

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